Phuket, a Mountainous and Rainforested island in the Andaman Sea is home to Thailand’s Most Popular Beaches. This is a must see in Thailand! There are many upscale and high-end Resorts, Spas and Hotels along Phuket’s Coast. Nightclubs, Pubs, and Bars are found in downtown Phuket. You can never get enough fun in Phuket with so many things to do!
We went on travel to Phuket not knowing what to expect. It wasn’t a very well prepared trip for us. We stayed about 1 and 1/2 weeks in Phuket. Going on Tours, relaxing in Resorts and Beach Fun was so much fun! Below are some of the Articles I have written on Phuket’s Resort, Hotels and the Top Things that you can do in Phuket!
Articles on Phuket
Your Phuket Travel Guide, Thailand
Finding the Right place and Accommodation for your Phuket holiday is essential. If you end up in a crappy situation and hating the Hotel Room, the entire holiday travel is ruined and unpleasant.
However, there are many hotels and resorts that you can choose from in Phuket. As we changed about three hotels during our stay in Phuket, I have done in Depth research on the different hotels.
First and foremost, you need to be extremely clear about the following:
a) The Star Rating of the Hotel
b) What Kind of Environment you would like to be around.
c) The Budget for your Hotel.
d) In front of the Beach Directly? Or a few blocks away is fine?
e) Bed & Breakfast.
f) Beach + City Area? Shopping Vicinity?
g) Which Location?
Click here to check out the Different Hotels in Phuket and Where you can Stay in Phuket! Do note that some beaches in Phuket are not very clean, well-maintained and the tide can be High. They are not suitable for swimming and beach water play. Please check the travel reviews first before booking.
Areas that you can Consider staying in Phuket:
Patong is the heart of the city with a seaside. It is a place for those who love to party, enjoy Phuket Nightlife, be around vibrant vibes and an area with lots of energy. As you travel down Bangla Street, it is a whole street lined up with pubs and nightclubs where you can party all night!
On the Opposite side of Bangla Street, there is a Shopping mall called Jungceylon Shopping Centre with many hotels around the area.
We stayed in Aspery Hotel for about three nights. It was a pleasant and cheap stay. It wasn’t far away from the main attractions of Patong, and everything was very accessible. Other hotels that we considered and wanted to stay in were The Bloc Hotel, The Surf Hotel, Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong and a really budget hotel just on the opposite side of Bangla Street, SleepWithMe Hotel.
b) Karon Beach:
Karon Beach is another popular beach travel destination near the other main city attractions like Wat Chalong, Big Buddha, and Promthep Cape. The streets on Karon Beach are filled with pubs, nightclubs, and shops. It is a second popular travel option after Patong for many tourists.
c) Near the Airport: Mai Khao
Hotels situated near the Airport are mid-range to high-end resorts. They include hotels like the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Anantara Vacation Club Mai Khao Phuket, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach and many more! There are also cheaper range hotels located conveniently near the Airport.
We stayed at Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach, and the stay was terrific! We liked the facilities of the Hotel, and the best part was the Beach Waters. The beach waters were at high tide. It was fun when the seas kept crashing in, pushing us to the shore. Definitely one of the best beach experience in Phuket. The waters were clean and well-maintained as well.
d) Rawai Beach
Rawai Beach is currently a launching point for boat excursions and day tours to the Islands around Phuket Island. Right in front of the beach, there are tons of Seafood Restaurants available. The food on Rawai Beach is prevalent among tourists! We saw a lot of people eating clams, lobsters, and many more.
We stayed at Serenity Resort & Residences which was only about 6 minutes drive away from Rawai Beach. It was an enjoyable stay because of the vast rooms and the Serenity of the place. Click here to find out more about our stay at Serenity Resort & Residences. We didn’t get a chance to play in the waters of Rawai Beach and do not wish to as well. Waters here were not as clean and well maintained. In the afternoon, the tide goes up high, and the intense waves keep crashing in.
Food: There is a different range of restaurants that you can dine at in Phuket.
Expensive eats would include dining at your Hotel/Resort. Mid-range would be in Restaurants. The price range would be about 200 THB to 500 THB per plate. It depends on what you order. If you order live seafood like crabs, lobster, it would go according to its weight and cost more.
Cheaper eats would include eating at the Banzaan Fresh Market. A 3 person meal would range from 500 THB to 2000 THB in total, depending on what you have ordered. There is a vast range of seafood that you can choose from and lots of stall vendors. You have an option to order from different food stores and eateries and try out different foods.
I liked the Pad Thai at the very front end of all the shops. It’s very delicious fried with Kuay Tuay Noodles. The best thing was, each plate would only cost about 100 – 200 THB. this is something you should try when you travel to thailand.
An even cheaper option would be to buy vegetables from the local market which you can find around town. Just ask the Locals! Alternatively, you can buy cooked food from the Local market. It is very very very cheap. We only spent about SGD9 for the entire meal with includes some vegetables, rice, and meat!
However, if you have a weak stomach, it is not advisable to buy food from here. Food is not very clean, and you may get a stomach pain which was what my Brother had afterward. In addition to that, if you are not a fan of spicy food, forget about eating here. The food they serve can be spicy that it burns the stomach. Just be careful and take note of this, or travel with medication just to be prepared.
Transportation can be costly in Phuket. I have traveled to many places, and prices in Phuket are one of the most expensive (comparing to the area and country). There are a few modes of Transport that you can use:
There are many grab drivers around the city. Just book a car like how you would typically do, and there you go! Do note that the airport does not allow Grab Drivers to operate. You would have to take the Minibus or a taxi from the Airport.
b) Rent A Car
Renting a car is perfect for anyone who is traveling in a big group. It would cost about $40 to $100 per day depending on the vehicle you have chosen. We have compared the prices. Renting cars downtown can be way more expensive than the ones in the airport.
However, if you rent it from the airport, you have to rent it for the entire trip which may not make sense. We took a car for sightseeing from the Airport and returned it when we were staying at Holiday Inn Mai Khao. It was much more efficient and cheaper than going on City tours as we had quite a lot of people!
c) Motorbike Rentals
Motorbike Rentals are very popular with tourists. Many who visit Phuket rent Motorbikes as they are cheap. It only costs about 100 – 200 THB per day 24 hours rental.
However, do have your driver’s license with you. Police are on the patrol checking if you have got your license. If you are not able to provide your license, you are fined 2000 THB on the spot. You would have no choice but to pay that amount in full.
d) Transport from the Airport
Grab Taxi(s) are not allowed in the Airports. You are only allowed to take Mini Buses or Taxis to your Hotels.
Mini Buses accommodates about 11 people in total with the luggage. Heading to Downtown Patong would cost about 180 THB for each pax and a little more to the other areas in Phuket like Karon Beach and Rawai Beach. Do note that waiting time for the Mini Buses can be extensive. I guess that is what we pay for a 180 THB bus.
We were lucky at that time as there was a bus available and it waited for us outside!
The Mini Bus would stop at about 1/3 of the journey to take down your Hotel details. At the same time, they will try selling you one of their tour packages. Overall, it was good and cost savvy ride. It is more budget and cost savvy.
The tour agencies can arrange Taxi(s) for you, and they are located in the arrival hall before you exit the Airport to the car parks. Taxi prices can range from 850 THB to 1000 THB per ride to downtown area. We took a 15-minute ride Taxi to Holiday Inn Mai Khao Resort and Spa, and it cost about 600 THB. It is the standard price for all the Travel Agencies there.
Another way to save cost would be to book one of the Tour Packages from the Airport. In fact, after analyzing the rest of the tours in Phuket Downtown, the tour packages at the Airport offers one of the best. If you book or confirm a trip with the tour agencies at the airport, you will be able to get a free ride to your hotel. They will arrange it for FREE!
4. Choose the Right Tours
(Read Previous Pointer on Airport Tour Deals with Transport)
Previously when I was offered this deal, I had imperfect knowledge about the various tours and its price range. A tour that carries about 26 Passengers on a speedboat to the different island would have a range of about 1500 THB to 2000 THB. If it is at this price, it is worth it!
We booked a tour to James Bond Island (with the above requirements), and it costs us about 1700 THB. If I did not remember wrongly, we were offered at this same price with a FREE transport back to the hotel at this price range too. It was, but we did learn a good lesson from this.
I tried booking online for our very first tour to Maya Bay, and we regretted it. As websites are usually not transparent and do not know what we want precisely, we booked the wrong one thinking we got the best deal online. Sometimes, approaching the Tour agencies in Patong Downtown and asking for their prices and opinions would make your tours more worth it. This was what we did for our second tour to James Bond Island! It was much more fun and enjoyable on the second tour! Click here to find out more about our trip!
5. Visa On Arrival or Visa required for Entry
There are some restrictions to entry into Thailand. Do check if your passports need a visa before heading to Phuket to prevent loss and waste of time at the Airport. Click here to find out more about the Visa Requirements and Visa On Arrival Applicants for entry into Thailand.
For applicants applying for Visa on Arrival (VOA) in Thailand, you can print and fill up the VOA form before landing in Thailand. When we were in Phuket applying for the Visa, I rushed through the application, but it seems that the officer can help you to fill it up if there is no one in the queue. The cost of visa would range from 2000 THB to 3000 THB per person, and only THB is accepted. If you have not enough cash in hand, there is a money changer just beside the VOA counter.
** Singaporeans do not need to apply for the Visa for Thailand.
6. Prepare THB before going to Phuket
Rates at the Airport are not that good. It is better to change in your Home country before coming. (Not too sure if it is the same throughout the different countries, but our SGD currency was terrible) We regretted not changing at Singapore Changi Airport which had a much better rate. We were offered at 1 SGD = 24 THB but only 1 SGD = 22 THB in Phuket’s Airport.
7. Bring your Essentials
As Phuket is a favorite Beach Destination, you will be sun tanning on the beach, enjoying yourself under the sun and having lots of fun during your tours! Here are some of the essentials that you would need in Phuket: A Waterproof casing for your phones and Money, Sunblock, Water and Go Pro to capture amazing moments!
As you are on these tours, you will be leaving your bag packs on the boat the majority of the time. It’s best to keep your valuables like phone and money with you while you travel!
You can purchase a sim card right when you arrive at Phuket International Airport. It costs about USD10 – USD20 for the SIM card, depending on the number of days you will be in Phuket.
Another option would be to contact and activate a data passport from your local Carrier service. We do that when we travel to places like Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It was more convenient! I do know that many countries give you that option. Search it up!
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